The Song of the Day for Monday, November 5, 2012 is Lazy Afternoon.
About Lazy Afternoon
Lazy Afternoon was written for the 1954 musical The Golden Apple, which uses mythological Greek characters from Ulysses but set in the state of Washington (at Mount Olympia, of course) in the United States. The music was written by Jerome Moross, with lyrics by John Treville Latouche.
The Golden Apple is interesting not only because of its unusual premise, but that it was sung-through musical, along the lines of Porgy and Bess, Candide and The Most Happy Fella. Even though the score was very well received, it has been considered more of a “cult” musical
and there was never an original cast album. Not until 2009 was the complete piano-vocal score published. The song was introduced in the original production by Kaye Ballard, and became a jazz standard. In addition to Mr. Bennett’s recording, it has also been recorded by artists such as Eartha Kitt, Sarah Vaughan, John Coltrane, George Shearing, June Christy, and Joe Henderson, among others.
Correction: The original cast album of the 1954 production of The Golden Apple is available and may be purchased at Amazon.com and other retailers. My apologies.
About This Version
This version comes from Tony Bennett’s 1962 Carnegie Hall concert. It’s beautifully sung by Mr. Bennett in that concert. The recording for the Carnegie Hall concert is available as double CD and for download at iTunes. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves the music of Tony Bennett. I’ve said it before, and shall say again, that it’s one of the finest live recordings ever made. From the Carnegie Hall website:
He had the Carnegie Hall audience in the palm of his hand throughout this marathon concert. Accompanied by an outstanding lineup that included Al Cohn on tenor saxophone, Kenny Burrell on guitar, Candido Camero on percussion, and his longtime pianist Ralph Sharon, Bennett worked his way through 44 songs and medleys. The original vinyl release featured just 28 tracks on a double album. It was not until the 1997 CD release that fans could experience the full program.
I chose this song today simply because I was listening to this album in the car today and was struck immediately by what a wonderful song it is and how beautifully it is sung. And not bad way to ease into a Monday.